246. Memorandum of Discussion at the 247th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, May 5, 19551

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and discussion of subjects unrelated to Yugoslavia. The discussion of Yugoslavia came under the item “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security.”]

Pointing out that the Council had under consideration today a Progress Report on Yugoslavia,2 Mr. [Allen] Dulles indicated that the [Page 646] CIA had prepared a brief estimate on the development of Tito’s policy,3 which he proceeded to summarize. He then added that if mistakes had been made by the United States with respect to Tito, the mistakes were made in our initial estimates of this individual who, after all, was a hard-core Moscow-trained Communist. As Mr. Dulles saw it, Tito had open to him three main choices: (1) to tie up more firmly to the West; (2) to pursue a neutralist line; or (3) to return to the Cominform. Mr. Dulles personally did not believe that Tito would turn back to the Kremlin, nor did he think that Tito would forge strong military ties with the Western powers. We feel, he said, that Tito will pursue a policy of benevolent neutralism (benevolent to the West) while seeking to maintain correct relations with the Soviet bloc. Mr. Dulles felt that we should not look or recent developments in Yugoslavia as signifying a switch in Tito’s policies, but rather a drift which derived its direction from the new trends in Soviet policy. It seemed likely that Tito was actually looking forward to joining up with a Middle European neutral bloc of nations including Austria and perhaps ultimately Germany. It was his ambition to keep the two power groups apart and ultimately to achieve a peaceful solution. Mr. Dulles concluded by reading the final paragraph of the intelligence estimate on Yugoslavia.

[Here follows discussion of subjects unrelated to Yugoslavia.]

4. United States Policy Toward Yugoslavia (NSC 5406/1; Progress Report, dated April 21, 1955, by the OCB on NSC 5406/1)4

Mr. Anderson briefed the Council on the contents of the subject Progress Report; noted that the Planning Board had already commenced its review of the policy on Yugoslavia; and said that the Planning Board would welcome any views expressed by the Council as guidance for its revision of NSC 5406/1.

[3 paragraphs (19 lines of source text) not declassified]

Admiral Radford provided the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this subject by reading from a written memorandum sent by the Joint Chiefs to the Secretary of Defense.5 It was the view of the Joint Chiefs that the U.S. should certainly make no new aid commitments to Yugoslavia pending clarification of Tito’s attitude. [4 lines of source text not declassified]

Governor Stassen said that while he would not dispute this statement, it was well to look on the other side of the medal and [Page 647] realize that while Tito was a Communist, he had definitely retreated from the Communist program of collectivized agriculture.

The President said that in any case we had better be very cautious in our future dealings with Tito.

As an explanation of Tito’s recent behaviour, Mr. Allen Dulles pointed out that of course Yugoslavia was not really a Communist country, and if its people could really speak their minds freely they would oust a Communist regime. Tito obviously wanted to keep his job. He probably feels that if he ties up too closely with the West, Yugoslavia will gradually lose its Communist character and he in turn would lose his job.

[1 paragraph (6 lines of source text) not declassified]

The National Security Council:6

Noted and discussed the reference Progress Report by the Operations Coordinating Board on the subject.
Concurred in the recommendation of the Operations Coordinating Board that the policies set forth in NSC 5406/1 should be reviewed by the NSC Planning Board.

[Here follow the remaining agenda items.]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Gleason on May 6.
  2. Document 241.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. Regarding NSC 5406/1, see footnote 2, Document 241.
  5. Dated April 29. (Washington National Records Center, JCS Records, CCS.092 Yugoslavia (7–28–56))
  6. Paragraphs a–b that follow constitute NSC Action No. 1393. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)